Media myths and falsehoods about the Supreme Court

An extensive report from Media Matters regarding the outright lies and half-truths that have been bandied about by conservatives, their mater over at Fox news and hate radio class.' I've included one of their examples - click over to see entire report. It's quite fascinating.

With Supreme Court Justice David Souter's recently announced retirement, Media Matters for America presents the following list of media myths and falsehoods about the High Court.


MYTH: Liberals -- but not conservatives -- engage in "judicial activism"

Media frequently suggest liberal judges, but not conservative judges, engage in "judicial activism" -- which media figures often characterize as legislating from the bench. For example, Fox News contributor Fred Barnes said of the process of replacing Souter, "Republicans do have a role here, and it's to talk about judicial activism and the dangers of it"; Barnes also stated that "liberal judicial activism" is "entirely results oriented." And radio host Laura Ingraham recently asserted that Judge Sonia Sotomayor, whom media have cited as a possible Supreme Court nominee, has "been described as judicially liberal, which means you don't favor the principle of judicial restraint." Ingraham later added that Sotomayor is "a traditional liberal and does not believe in, I think, a strict adherence to separation of powers."

But a 2005 study by Yale University law professor Paul Gewirtz and Yale Law School graduate Chad Golder showed that among Supreme Court justices at that time, those most frequently labeled "conservative" were among the most frequent practitioners of at least one brand of judicial activism -- the tendency to strike down statutes passed by Congress. Those most frequently labeled "liberal" were the least likely to strike down statutes passed by Congress...

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